Even on the eve of a possible American military strike on Syria, Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad continues to aggressively utilize Public Relations campaigns. For many years, the man has valued propaganda, and today is no different. Assad is all over social media channels, including Instagram (http://instagram.com/syrianpresidency#), and YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/SyrianPresidency. Assad and his close supporters are utilizing multiple Facebook accounts (https://www.facebook.com/Bashar.Al.Assad.page?fref=pb&hc_location=profile_browser), as well as an account entitled “The People of Syria Support President Bashar al-Assad” which can be found at https://www.facebook.com/UnitedSyrians.

Ironically, using American companies, Assad is able to show the influence of digital media to spread his message. On Instagram, Assad is able to ignore the civil war which has killed more than 100,000 Syrians, and highlight his day-to-day meetings and tasks. Many of his social media pages (including Facebook) have been updated in the last few hours. Assad, who has utilized US
Public Relations Firms, even gave an interview this week to the Russian paper, Izvestia, where he warned America “Failure awaits the United States as in all previous wars it has unleashed, starting with Vietnam and up to the present day.” Clearly a man who understands the importance of PR, as he sends a message to Americans, many of whom are less than happy about intervening in a foreign conflict.

As has been written before in Times of Israel, “In the past, American Professor David Lesch urged Syria to hire a U.S. PR firm for a two-year engagement at $150,000 per month. An international public-relations agency, Brown Lloyd James secured to coordinate a Vogue Magazine profile and photo shoot for Asma al-Assad, Syria’s First Lady which depicted her as “A Rose in the Desert” in a positive feature. There was a description of her as the ‘freshest and most magnetic of first ladies, endowed with ‘[d]ark-brown eyes, wavy chin-length brown hair, long neck, an energetic grace.”

Assad’s propaganda is certainly spinning a much different tale then the media is reporting – let’s see if it influences Obama’s administration as they debate striking Syria.

Ronn Torossian